New BI strategy unlocks potential of MIB data

Motor Insurers' Bureau

   The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) is a non-profit organisation that was established in 1946 to 'reduce the level and impact of uninsured motoring in the UK.

All UK motor insurers are obliged by law to become members of MIB and contribute to its funding, but the ultimate cost of uninsured motoring, of around £500 million per year, falls to honest, law-abiding motorists via their insurance premiums.

MIB works in close partnership with the Police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the insurance industry to remove uninsured drivers from our roads.  Absolutely key to effective MIB operations is efficient management of its vast collection of data, in particular the significant Motor Insurance Database, which was created in 2001 by the insurance industry.

Sopra Steria was asked to develop a coherent BI strategy aligned to the needs of the organisation, helping MIB to unlock the potential of its data.

Background

MIB had traditionally responded to internal information requests on an ad hoc basis, but as the organisation continued to grow and the demand for greater data intelligence from MIB and its partners became more critical, a more coherent data-reporting and analysis strategy was clearly required. 

MIB was aware of the potential benefits of using Business Intelligence (BI) to help manage data more strategically and efficiently, but had never really applied BI in a coherent or structured way across the organisation

As a trusted partner working with MIB for nearly 15 years on a range of major IT development projects, Sopra Steria was asked to develop a coherent BI strategy aligned to the needs of the organisation and is now delivering to this strategy.

Solution

MIB's small internal Management Information (MI) team needed a better way of meeting the ever-increasing data requirements of the expanding organisation.  Although Microsoft BI technology was already in place, many of the MI team's tasks were resource intensive and therefore the increasing information needs of the business could not always be met. 

The MI team was further constrained by the limited access to performance data about the records on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), which is an essential tool in the fight against uninsured driving.  The MID holds details of all insured vehicles and currently has around 36 million records.  It is expected to expand to around half a billion over the next two years. 

The MI team needed to readily access and analyse data held on the MID in new and different formats without 3rd party intervention.  This is particularly important for existing and new strategic partnerships for MIB to make decisions at a different pace than was previously possible.

Client view

"Sopra Steria helped MIB define what the business needed from BI and how to achieve it in a controlled way with managed expenditure. Sopra Steria provided the key elements we were looking for, BI subject matter expertise, technical know-how and importantly a partnership approach that enabled the in-house team to develop new skills"
MI Manager, MIB

Building a BI strategy

  Sopra Steria began by developing a Claims Data Mart for MIB that was considered a successful 'initial' step into the world of BI.  The project was based on a 'joint' development approach, following the full lifecycle from requirements through to design, development and implementation.

Building on the success of this project, Sopra Steria's BI Consulting team undertook a Business BI Maturity Scan - a Sopra Steria offering that clarifies, in broad terms, where an organisation is currently positioned in relation to BI, where it wants to be and how it can get there.  Using a 'roadmap' approach, a BI Strategy was developed for MIB taking it from its existing MI base to an enhanced overall architecture that would fully support the current and future needs of the business. 

Microsoft BI technology

The MIB BI strategy is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008:

  • SQL Server Integration Services
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • SQL Server Analysis Services
  • Performance Point (via SharePoint)
  • SQL Server Database

Think Big – Start Small

The BI strategy was approved by the MIB executive management team with an underlying strategy of 'think big, start small', to ensure BI was considered for all business change projects and the BI elements implemented in line with the defined architecture and approach. 

This represented a fundamental shift in how the organisation perceived and used BI; any new internal project was to include a BI evaluation, meaning that BI is now considered in a managed way for any IT deployment going forward and also that what is delivered is consistent as it is now part of an overall strategic framework.

Gaining Access To The Motor Insurance Database (MID)

   Within the BI Strategy a key Sopra Steria recommendation was that MIB focus on the MID as the next step towards establishing an enterprise-wide BI capability.  The ability to analyse in greater detail information that was currently 'hidden' in the MID could lead to more uninsured vehicles being removed from the roads.  Any such reductions would lead to significant monetary savings

Sopra Steria's review of the current processes around the MID highlighted MIB's limited access to the data held within the database and recommended that establishing direct access with the MID was critical.

In 2010 Sopra Steria completed the development of an in-house MID data mart to store the MID's critical data, with 36 million records loaded from the MID into the data mart each month. This project was identified as the highest priority within the BI Strategy and delivered in a 3 month timeframe.

Benefits

Sopra Steria has helped MIB to unlock the potential of its data and to evolve into an organisation with a clearly defined BI strategy that is closely aligned to the business and helps drive efficiency. Sopra Steria is now delivering to this strategy for MIB, which is already enjoying significant business benefits including:

  • Faster, cheaper and more efficient access to key data – the MI team is now able to respond immediately to requests from the business without needing to use a 3rd party and at no external cost.
  • Enhanced Data Quality – up-to-date and meaningful management information enables senior managers to drill down into key areas and make better and faster strategic decisions. Errors and duplications of data can now be readily identified and fed back to partners for correction, thus improving the overall accuracy and quality of the MID.
  • Enhanced Reputation due to quality of the MID – the perception of MIB has increased among partners since it is now able to provide greater insight into the contents of the MID.
  • Knowledge transfer to develop the MI team's BI skills – Sopra Steria has actively shared knowledge and supported MIB to develop and grow its internal MI team's skills around BI to better equip them to meet the information needs of the business.

Future developments

Sopra Steria's involvement with MIB is ongoing and will include the delivery of further BI projects across the business in line with the BI Strategy.

One such project is the government's 'Continuous Insurance Enforcement' (CIE) initiative to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on UK roads. This high-profile programme that 'went live' at the end of May 2011 has involved a wide range of marketing campaigns that have put MIB increasingly into the public eye. Being able to respond to the information needs of the programme has been critical.

As part of the overall programme (a joint project between the DVLA and MIB) Sopra Steria worked with MIB to develop a CIE Data Mart that is supporting the detailed data analysis required as part of the new initiative and enabling MIB to answer questions from a range of interested parties, including major insurers and government.